The Department has received a number of representations from people regarding changes to state pension age since 1995, and the matter has been comprehensively debated on many occasions. Women will receive their state pension either at the same age as men or earlier as we remove the current inequality.
The Government have seen fit to award the richest personal earners and the top five wealthiest corporations in the country tens of billions of pounds in tax cuts. Do the Government think that the Tories are being fair when they steal the pensions of women to stuff their friends’ pockets?
It is always good to hear the dinosaur that is my friend from the north-east, the hon. Member for Jarrow (Mr Hepburn). He was in government between 1997 and 2010 when he could have changed the law and did not. The reality of the situation is that the richest 1% have never paid more tax than at present and that corporation tax reductions create jobs, as has been comprehensively proved. He, I am afraid, has no grasp of the facts as they now are.
I say gently to the hon. Gentleman that we have time for a short question, but not at this point for a preamble, I am afraid. A short question will be fine—30 seconds.
Women born in the 1950s are the victims of a monumental pensions injustice. Christine is 62 and cannot retire until she is 66. Her husband has died, and she now has to do three cleaning jobs to make ends meet. At the very least, will the Government follow the lead of the Labour Mayor for Greater Manchester and introduce free bus travel for the women affected? They deserve better.
I merely repeat the point that I made previously: between 1997 and 2010, there was a Labour Government. Not only did they support this policy, but they expanded it through the Pensions Act 2008, which, as the hon. Gentleman knows full well, raised the state pension age.